Diary blog: lockdown 2.0 and our civil marriage has been canceled …

Autumn has started, it’s almost November and the second (sort of) lockdown here in The Netherlands has started… time for a new diary blog!

Looking back on September: a new car + vacation to Luxembourg and France

Gosh how time flies, it has been almost two months since the last diary blog came online (this blog about our trip to the champagne region). Even though a lot has happened in those two months, the days and weeks are very similar and I really have to dig into my memory to see what we have been doing these months. But luckily the photo album on my phone helps me on my way and I see the wonderful late summer moments we had in September. And of course, our new car which we took on a road trip.

A weekend away to Zeeland!

I start the month of September with a very nice weekend to Zeeland with friends Nicole and Susie. Wine, good food and my best friends around me! We sleep in a cosy farmhouse (this one via Airbnb) and go to the beach. We also visit a number of cute villages in Zeeland. It’s a lovely weekend!

Renting out our car

In September we also buy the car from Ries his father. It’s a big car, perfect for road trips! Initially, we plan to only go on holiday with it for a week and then suspend the car for 8-9 months so that we do not have to pay road tax. But, after driving less than 10 kilometres with the new Volvo, we decide to just keep it. And now, a month and a half later and in the middle of a new lockdown, we are very happy with this decision. It still feels safer to take the car than to travel by public transport and so we can occasionally escape the city to enjoy nature and the beach.

Since we don’t use the car daily, we decide to rent it occasionally out via Snappcar. This way, we also cover our own car costs (road tax, insurance, maintenance, parking permit). Would you like to rent our car, then click here Do you have a car yourself and are you curious about Snappcarr out works? Read more about Snappcar here.Vinyards and road trip Burgundy France

Road trip Luxembourg and France!

Midway September we have one week off and so we decide to take our new car for a road trip. We start with a nice family day (there is no lockdown at the beginning of September, so this is still allowed), where we go paddleboarding in Limburg. The weather is beautiful and we even tan a little!

Exploring Luxembourg: Clervaux and Vianden

The next day we hop in the car with destination unknown… The weather forecasts for all of Europe are not that great and we only want to go to regions where corona is still under control. And so we decide on the way to drive to Luxembourg and start our holiday there. Both of us have never been to Luxembourg, only driving through it on our way to France or Austria. But it is a surprisingly nice country! We visit the beautiful villages of Clervaux and Vianden, where there are impressive castles and we go hiking in the vicinity of Echternach.

Read all our blogs about Luxembourg here!

France: Chablis in Burgundy

The weather is good and the sun is shining! After two days in Luxembourg, we decide to drive to France. We make a stopover at our future wedding location where we sleep in our familiar room again and then drive on to the north of Burgundy. To be precise to the village of Chablis. This village, famous for the delicious chablis wine that comes from here, is a really nice place. Definitly a must-visit when going to Burgundy!

Read all about the village of Chablis in Burgundy here!

I have been wanting to visit Chablis for months and luckily my high expectations are not disappointed. Surrounded by vineyards and with old buildings in the centre, this is a perfect base from which to explore northern Burgundy. From here we make a bike ride through the vineyards, we taste wine at various wineries and we make a day trip to the nice village of Noyers-sur-Serein.

Free travel guide Noyers-sur-Serein in Burgundy!

Luxembourg city

After two wonderful days, the weather really starts to change. We decide to allready drive a bit in the directions of home and spend the last night in France in a cute chambres d’hotes in the north of France. The next day we leave early for Luxembourg so that we still have time to discover Luxembourg city. Like the rest of Luxembourg, this city is not big, but it is a beautiful place. There is a lot of greenery, it has a pleasant centre and a cosy student area. The location of Luxembourg city, in a hilly landscape and partly built against the rocks, makes every viewpoint here a picture.

After a big plate of pasta, it is really time to continue our trip home. This holiday is over!

The rest of September flies by. We see friends at a safe distance, go to a rocycle lesson in the open air one last time and continue to work from home continuously.

October: House hunting and our civil marriage cancelled…

Unnoticed, September turns into October and autumn has really begun. Outside the days are getting shorter, inside the heating is turned on and we are burning candles. Unfortunately, the number of corona infections is starting to increase significantly. If a partial lockdown is announced in mid-October, we, unfortunately, have to make a sad decision. Our civil marriage is planned for the end of November. We planned to get married in a small group (19 people), at the civil office, in preparation for our big wedding weekend next year in June.

After the “yes” we would toast with champagne, have a wedding cake and then enjoy lunch. Even though our wedding weekend in France feels like our real wedding, we wanted to celebrate this moment too. Not only because that is fun, but especially for Ries’s grandmother who will not be there in France. Unfortunately, with the new corona measures, this cannot take place in this form. So we decided to cancel our civil marriage. We will of course still get married, and the details will remain unchanged, but this will now only take place later, at a time when this is safe for everyone again.

It is a bit disappointing, but to be honest we both think it is nothing compared to all the other suffering that unfortunately has been caused by corona. And our wedding weekend in France for June 2021 is fortunately still as planned!

Read all about our destination wedding here!

Viewing houses outside of Amsterdam …

Fortunately, there is something else we can focus our attention on house hunting! We have been living in Amsterdam for over 7 years now, in a very nice rental apartment. But slowly we start to long for a place of our own. A house that we bought ourselves, with more space and a garden. We are under no illusion, places like that in Amsterdam are now priceless and so we look outside of Amsterdam.

Because we both originally come from Limburg (in the south of The Netherlands), we actually want to live a little further south again. Due to corona, we currently work full time from home and the prospects are that this will also be the case after corona has vanished. So a move to the south (with a longer work-to-home travel time) is now suddenly much more feasible! An additional advantage: many of our friends are also starting to move south, so how nice to live in the area again!Fall in Amsterdam houses of Amsterdam Netherlands

We look around the cities of Den Bosch and Vught. And even though not much is currently for sale here, we have already visited two houses. Both houses are not our future home, but we have the time so we take it easy. If we find a nice spot within a year, we are happy! By the way, I really enjoy this process. To look daily on Funda (the real estate app in The Netherlands), get inspiration via Pinterest and the new experiences such as conversations with a financial advisor, mortgage advisor and real estate agent. Fingers crossed that we will find our dream place!

Dreaming about winter sports

In terms of travel, nothing is planned at the moment … We do not think it is wise to go on holiday now, and there are few destinations where we as Dutchies can go now. But I am a bit dreaming about one holiday: skiing! It’s been a few years since I first went skiing and I loved it. I hope that next spring it will be safe and allowed to go on a skiing holiday. In any case, I already have my ski outfit ready and has been tested in the ski hall during a fun day of skiing with Philippe and Eva.Protest ski outfit ready for wintersport Lets go

Hiking, reading and looking forward to Christmas!

Actually, I also think it’s a bit cosy this time. Just being together, especially a lot of hiking to get some fresh air and chatting about anything and everything. During one of our walks in the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen, we even encounter several wild deer! Yes, I sometimes miss travelling very much, but I also notice that this time is nice and quiet. I have a lot more time to read, cook, or chat with friends via FaceTime. We are playing more card games and I am sure that we will soon start puzzling again, just like the rest of the Netherlands.

And because the days are now getting shorter and darker, a bit of a Christmas atmosphere is already starting to emerge. In recent years we have almost always celebrated Christmas in a warm location abroad. So I’m really looking forward to a cold Christmas in the Netherlands with a Christmas tree! It will undoubtedly still be a different Christmas than usual because of corona, but it will certainly be fun! Off to a nice few months to end this crazy year and hopefully a much sunnier 2021!

Love, Charlotte

Charlotte visiting Luxembourg city Luxembourg

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